The weekly average of COVID-19 cases per day for both students and faculty saw a large drop over the past week, with an average of 29.43 cases per day reported Monday and an average of 16 cases reported Thursday. Currently, a total of 64 individuals are hospitalized for COVID-19 at U.Va. Health.
At the peak of the wave of cases caused by the omicron variant Jan. 11, the seven-day average was 74.43 new cases per day.
There are 274 active cases of COVID-19 within the University community—a 36.7 percent reduction from this time last week. 227 of which are students and 47 of which are faculty and staff, per the University’s COVID-19 tracker.
The seven-day average positivity rate as of Thursday was 6.14 percent. The seven-day average positivity rate among faculty and staff Thursday — 7.44 percent — is slightly higher than the 5.85 percent rate for students.
The seven-day average of individuals tested per day was 260.4 Thursday. U.Va. Health has administered 527, 408 tests since the tracker started recording data in Aug. 2020. This number only includes tests administered through U.Va. Health or LetsGetChecked and does not take into account other tests.
8 patients were admitted to U.Va. Health with COVID-19 yesterday, putting the current total of COVID-19 hospitalizations to 64. The seven-day average for new hospitalizations as of Thursday was 11.29.
The University is currently at one percent occupancy for isolation rooms, reserved for those who have tested positive for COVID-19.
University administrators announced Tuesday that it will lift its indoor masking requirement on March 21 for University-owned spaces including office buildings, IM-Rec facilities and venues. The mandate will remain in place in classrooms, U.Va. Health facilities and University Transit Services.
The University cited recent improvements in public health data as the reason behind lifting the restrictions. Hospitalizations and positive cases have been trending downward as the percentage of faculty, staff and students who are fully vaccinated has increased.
In order to return to residential learning, students were required to either submit proof of full COVID-19 vaccination with a booster shot or provide documentation of an approved medical or religious exemption. Attorney General Jason Miyares issued an advisory opinion Friday holding that public universities cannot mandate COVID-19 vaccination requirements for students as a condition of enrollment. University President Jim Ryan addressed the opinion in a University-wide email Jan. 31, adding that the advisory opinion does not hold the same force of law.
Over 99 percent of students have already complied with the University’s vaccination requirements, Ryan said, noting that University leadership decided to leave enrolled students who have not yet compiled with vaccine mandates.
“Because we have such a small number of students who have not yet received the booster, we decided early last week – based on the advice of our student affairs team – that we will not disenroll students who have not yet received their booster, but will continue to encourage them to do so,” Ryan said.
Following the Jan. 14 deadline for students and employees to submit either proof of vaccination or proof of a medical or religious exemption, 99 percent of students are fully vaccinated while 85 percent of employees have received booster shots.
While the University previously required all faculty and staff to be fully vaccinated — and the University announced a booster requirement prior to the start of the spring semester, the University will no longer require faculty and staff to be vaccinated against COVID-19 as a condition of employment, per an email sent Jan. 19 to University employees by Ryan, Provost Liz Magill, Chief Operation Officer J.J. Davis and K. Craig Kent, executive vice president for health affairs.
In the Blue Ridge Health District, 73.5 percent of individuals have received at least one dose of the vaccine and 68.9 percent of individuals are fully vaccinated. In addition to those fully vaccinated, 38.0 percent have been vaccinated with a third booster dose.
New public health measures in effect this semester include a temporary ban on all food and beverages at University-affiliated events, a mandatory five-day isolation for those who test positive for COVID-19 in accordance with updated Center for Disease Control guidance and a continuation of the mask mandate for all indoor spaces. University leadership will provide an update on these policies by the end of the week.
Asymptomatic testing is currently located in the basement of Newcomb Hall by appointment only Monday, Tuesday and Thursday 8 a.m. through 4:30 p.m. and Wednesday 7:30 a.m. through 4:30 p.m. Asymptomatic employee testing is available at the Jefferson Park Medical Office Building on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 7 a.m. through 9 a.m. Students experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 should schedule testing through their HealthyHoos portal, whereas faculty members experiencing possible COVID-19 symptoms should contact Employee Health.
The University’s COVID-19 tracker is updated every weekday at 4 p.m.